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China’s Economy Grows in Fourth Quarter Amid Corona Pandemic

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China’s latest official figures have confirmed it was the only major economy to see growth in 2020.

The world’s second largest economy says it grew 2.3% last year, with the final quarter seeing growth of 6.5% – up from 4.9% in the third quarter.

Shutdowns from Covid-19 had caused the economy to slump by 6.8% in the first three months of 2020.

Strict virus containment measures and emergency relief for businesses helped the economy recover.

However, Covid-19 still had a major impact, with nationwide shutdowns of factories and manufacturing plants forcing economic growth to its slowest rate for four decades.

Monday’s data also showed a 7.3% increase in industrial output and a 4.6% increase in retail sales for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Many analysts are tipping growth to accelerate in 2021, but the China Bureau of Statistics has warned of a “grave and complex environment both at home and abroad”, with the pandemic having a “huge impact”.

Data on Thursday showed Chinese exports grew by more than expected in December, as coronavirus disruptions around the world fuelled demand for Chinese goods.

That’s despite a stronger yuan, which makes Chinese exports more expensive for overseas buyers.

China also bought record volumes of crude oil, copper, iron ore and coal in 2020.

Chinese leaders pledged at a key agenda-setting meeting last month to maintain “necessary” policy support for the economy this year, while avoiding a sudden policy shift.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS